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The Scientific Exploration of Mars Paperback – 31 Jan 2010


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Fredric W. Taylor is Halley Professor of Physics at Oxford University, a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and a member of the Oxford Physics Department, where he was head of Atmospheric, Oceanic & Planetary Physics for 21 years. He was educated at he Duke of Northumberland's School, Alnwick, the University of Liverpool (B. Sc. With First Class honours in Physics), and Oxford University (D. Phil. In Atmospheric Physics). After graduating he spent ten years in the USA, in the Space Science Division, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena. While there he was Principal Investigator on an experiment which flew on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter in 1979, making the first systematic study of the meteorology of the atmosphere of Venus, and became involved in the Galileo mission to Jupiter. He returned to England in 1980 to take up his present position and is currently participating in a number of planetary and Earth Observation space experiments, including Cassini-Huygens, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Venus Express. He and his colleagues at Oxford and overseas also do theoretical work and modelling on problems in atmospheric and oceanic physics, such as ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect and climate change.

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'The comparison of the first drawings done by Huygens in the XVIIth century with the imagery of the XXIst century is extraordinary … very well documented …' l'Astronomie

'Taylor … proves to be an engaging and amusing guide, discussing the scientific outcomes of missions such as the Mars Exploration Rovers with as equally a light touch as he describes the political wrangling which brought the mission into being. The Scientific Exploration of Mars is something between a reference book and popular science writing; detailed enough to tell you all the necessary facts, yet entertaining and insightful enough to make you want to read from cover to cover. For those interested in finding out how we came to know what we do about Mars, this is a fine place to start.' Euan Monaghan, Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University

'This is a brilliant book. Professor Fred Taylor of Oxford University … has chronicled our exploration of the red planet in erudite and accessible fashion. … This is a terrific book for any students of the red planet …' Astronomy Now

'Highly recommended both to the specialist Mars researcher and the casual reader.' The Observatory

'Written for a broad audience of interested scientists, amateur astronomers and general readers, the volume steers a judicious course that carefully combines scientific insight and accessibility. Where it is at its strongest is in the identification and explanation of the key scientific objectives that have driven the exploration of Mars by spacecraft, as well as in the authoritative assessment of the extent to which such objectives have been achieved with regard to our understanding of the Martian surface, atmosphere, climate and potential to support life, either now or in the past … this volume is beautifully produced and engagingly written. It may be read with profit by all interested in the ongoing study of Mars.' Bill Leatherbarrow, Journal of the British Astronomical Association

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What do we know about Mars? Is there evidence of life there? Will humans ever travel there? Written by a scientist intimately involved with missions to Mars, this unique book describes the past, present and future of Mars exploration. It will appeal to anyone interested in this fascinating planet.

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